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The Dog Ate My Puzzle – I Couldn’t Do It!

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve finished dinner, cleaned up and now are settling into your favorite puzzling chair to get going on a fun evening of puzzling. You have been working on this particular puzzle for three weeks now, most every evening spending 2-3 hours on this 1500 piece monster that has loads of sky, water and grass.

As you get excited at the thought of finally completing the puzzle, a strong love/hate relationship has been built over the time spent together, out of the corner of your eye you spot some movement. Could it be? Did your beloved Beagle somehow make it past your puzzle fortress (i.e. a pet gate) and is quickly approaching your custom puzzle table? Before you could get in full puzzle defensive position by creating a giant puzzle shield with your entire body, your dog has jumped up on a chair, grabbed five pieces off the table in one bite and run out of the room. As you give chase, Johnny chomps down and pretty much ruins your chance of ever completing the puzzle (at least with the original pieces). Ten minutes later you are left with two pieces ground to a pulp and three others that look like an impression you might get at the dentist. How could this have happened and what should you do to prevent it from happening again?

A Few Sample Pieces Damaged By Pets

Save the puzzles, keep the pieces safe!
(Click to enlarge)

While having a pet gate (if possible) usually does the trick. In the case of Johnny, he seems to have found a way around it. If it’s a secure one that usually should do a good job of protecting your puzzles.

Beyond that here are three other tips to keep your puzzles complete:

1) We use portable puzzling trays that have lips all around the edge that prevent pieces from falling off the table. It’s amazing how many pets (and even vacuums) manage to find those tiny pieces buried in the rug.

2) We also have a large zippered case that allows the portable tray to be sealed and closed up. This is a great way to keep pets from magically make your pieces disappear. We use a Jigsort (actually we have several depending on the puzzles size), but you could probably also use a large portfolio case that artists use, as long as the thickness is ok to keep the tray in safely.

3) Check under the table after every puzzling session! It’s amazing how easy it is for a little wood puzzle knob to cling on to a cuff and the next thing you know the piece is dropped on the floor, once again waiting for Johnny to find and destroy.

Hopefully, with a little change in your puzzling routine you will be able to prevent Johnny from becoming a puzzle thief and you will never have to tell someone that a dog ate your puzzle!